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What is Endoscopy Equipment, and What is it Used For?

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The primary piece of endoscopy equipment is the endoscope. It is made up of a number of components that work together to examine internal areas of the body. It is used in many medical fields, including gastroenterology, gynecology, proctology, and many other types of procedures. The components of an endoscope can be broken down into five basic types:

  1. Tube

Either a flexible or rigid tube is used for endoscopy, depending on the procedure. The type of endoscope used for a given procedure is then described by the type of tube used, usually a rigid endoscope or a flexible endoscope.

  1. Eyepiece

This is where the technician or other medical professional looks to see the image being relayed by the endoscope. In more modern endoscopy instruments, this eyepiece has been replaced, of course, by a monitor or view-screen.

  1. Lens System

This element transmits the image from within the patient's body to a display screen. Flexible endoscopes use optic fibers to achieve this, while rigid endoscopes use relay lenses instead.

  1. Light

Typically, light from an external source is transmitted through optic fibers to make the internal region of the body being examined viewable.

  1. Channel

Oftentimes, another instrument is used in tandem with the endoscopy instrument to perform the needed investigation, confirmation or treatment. When this occurs, that additional piece of equipment is passed through the extra channel in the endoscopy instrument.

What Endoscopy Is Used For

Endoscopy is used to investigate, confirm and treat a range of medical issues or areas of concern. Let's examine each of those actions a bit closer.

Investigate: Endoscopy can be used to try to identify the cause of any number of observable symptoms, such as abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, breathing disorders, gastrointestinal bleeding, vomiting or difficulty swallowing.

Confirm: Endoscopy can be used to conduct a biopsy to help confirm a diagnosis of diseases like cancer.

Treat: An endoscope can often help administer a form of treatment for a few particular conditions, such as to remove polyps or cauterize a ruptured blood vessel.

Endoscopies are sometimes performed in combination with other procedures, such as ultrasounds. Modern endoscopy instruments have "narrow band imaging" lights fitted to them that utilize green and blue wavelengths of light to help a physician to identify precancerous conditions.

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